Democratic gubernatorial contender Felix Alvarado of Fort Worth issued a press release today to address questions about a bounced $3,750 filing fee check that forced him to withdraw as a candidate when he attempted an earlier run for governor in 2006.
"I paid the filing fee with a personal check, even though I knew that my checking account did not have that amount," said Alvarado, who lives in Fort Worth and teaches at a Dallas high school. "I honestly and sincerely thought that I could deposit the money the following morning. When I discovered that I could not, I thought of my options, borrow the money or withdraw from the race."
Alvarado said he notified the Democratic Party that he was withdrawing because the check would not clear. He said he later began getting calls from the media "about the 'bounced check' that had caused my name to be removed from the ballot.
"I accepted full responsibility for my action then as I do now," he said. Alvarado noted that he has filed again to run for governor and is prepared to "guarantee" that his name will stay on the ballot.
There's so much that is so wrong with this public statement, but let's just focus on the matter of the complexities associated with maintaining a proper balance in one's checking account: "borrow the money"? Why would you need to "borrow the money" if it was your stated intention to "deposit the money the following morning"?
There's more going on with this explanation than mere garden-variety ignorance, I'm afraid.
And this fellow will probably make the runoff for governor solely because of his surname. On the other hand, this man certainly won't.
The Democratic National Committee is meeting in Austin next weekend, presumably to make some kind of show about Texas "being in play" in 2010. Not at that rate it's going, it's not. And if Steve Bates is any indication, then the national Dems are going to have more to worry about than Texas not "being in play".
But back to our troubles in Deep-In-The-Hearta, which are actually more severe than Mr. Alvarado's issues with his checking account. Now here comes my rant: everyone keeps me telling me that Boyd Richie is doing a bang-up job. He has posted his praise-laden and extensive bio, though not so much for other officers of the party -- a year now after they were elected. Furthermore, every time I ask for examples, I am directed at something pretty nebulous, like "grassroots organizing" or "database management".
Without a full slate of statewide candidates, Texas can be written off not just for another election cycle but for another decade, as 2011 redistricting occurs under the purview of the Legislative Redistriciting Board -- comprised of the speaker of the Texas House, the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, the commissioner of the general land office, and the comptroller of public accounts. There are currently two declared Democrats for those offices: Barbara Radnofsky for Texas attorney general and Bill Burton for GLO commissioner. The only thing currently working in Democrats' favor is that the plan will have to be pre-cleared by a Democratic Department of Justice -- for the first time since 1965. (Dave McNeely has a good explanation here of how all the moving pieces come together.)
Then again, maybe it's Boyd's strategy to keep litigating until 2020. That ought to make Chad Dunn feel comfortable.